As the steward of the thirteen chickens that live in my family’s coop, I’m always on the lookout for would-be predators. Through fairytales and stories, we are often told to watch out for foxes in our hen houses, but there is a predator that can be wilier, slyer, and sneakier than a fox. This animal is ruthless and demonstrates some downright vampiric tendencies. It has a thirst for blood…chicken blood…and can be found throughout Maryland.
The predator I’m speaking of is the American mink. For some of us, our only experience with a mink of any kind is a childhood memory of our grandmother’s fur coat. Minks aren’t an animal that we would often associate with our region, but they are very common.